Friday, August 28, 2009

Kissed by a Bee

I'm back!!! From holidays, that is - all tanned from the sun and pudgy from the food. I had a wonderful time with family and friends and stored away many happy memories.

Which leads me into today's post. There are some moments in my life that I will never forget. Like old photographs that I review often they stay firmly imprinted in the front of my memory box. I know I have a lifetime of moments stored up there somewhere in my brain but many are dusty photograph books that are only opened occasionally and show up when triggered by something else. While others, well, they seem to always be in the forefront. Like the time I was kissed by a bee.....

It was the summer before I started high school and my girlfriend and I were scoping out the grounds at Trenton High, getting a lay of the land as it were. Around the perimeter was this nice long row of bushes which for some reason seemed like a good place to explore. So in we went crouching and crawling, inching our way along when the next thing we know we are in the midst of bee city and they are none too pleased to have us show up. Much stinging pursued including a big kisser on my lip. It immediately began to swell up (one side only) and amused my mother to no end.

There are random moments that I still see clearly and I have no idea why. I have a very clear memory of being in front of our house in Picton sitting on my bike on a hot summer day. Gino Vanelli is playing "You Gotta Move" on a radio somewhere. I'm about 11 years old.

There are other moments so life changing you will never forget. I remember the last time I saw my sister alive. She had been fighting for her life against cancer and I had promised myself I would never cry in front of her, which I was able to keep, until the very last time. There she was, once a beautiful young woman of 25, now all misshapen and deformed from the ravages of the disease and giving me this sad, pathetically heroic smile, trying to make me feel everything was all right. I was not all right and neither was she and I cried. She passed away the next day.

I clearly remember the amazing moments of giving birth. All this pain and chaos, people yelling at me to Push! Push! And then, suddenly, there is no more pain, stillness and quiet and this precious little being in my arms, looking at me with those slate gray eyes.

Somehow all these moments, good, bad and random make up part of me, who I am and who I have been molded into. In all respects I have thus far been blessed with a wonderful life. Who knows how many more memories and moments I have waiting to be stored ahead.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vacation Time!!

I started my vacation today and I have SOOOOO much to do, I don'thave time to blog....there is something wrong with this picture. What about the dusty term known as "relaxing" and "taking it easy"? Isn't that what vacation is all about??
Well it is, but if you are a wife and mother vacation time probably starts with a lot of planning/coordinating/packing/organizing and that's the stage I'm in right now. Oh, I'm sure there is some relaxing and taking it easy time in there but not until I'm about half way through the vacation.
I'm off and running, pulling an Amy, diving in head first or as my Grandma used to say "quick like a bunny" and "pitter patter let's get atter!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Frumpy Sweater

Good Morning Everyone (it's morning for me anyway). Here I am, at the computer. There's Amelia(dog) sleeping in her chair snoring ever so ladylike, chirruping birds and the sound of the wind coming through the window and me, wearing my track pants and shirt and my frumpy sweater. Frumpy sweater you say? What is a frumpy sweater? Well, let me tell you....

A frumpy sweater is one is wear, oh pretty much from the moment I walk in the door after work until bedtime and it's right back on my back first thing in the morning. It's burgundyish, only has two of its original eight button left, two pockets but they have holes in them because Amelia, as a puppy, thought those always prevalent used tissues inside the pockets were as good as digging for gold and she chewed her way through to them; has paint smears on the back because I was wearing it whilst repainting a room (I'm always wearing it) and backed up into a wall, usually has toothpaste dribbled down the front and is covered in cat/dog hair. I know what you are thinking....ewwww....get rid of that frumpy sweater. And you would be right - I should get right of it. My children eye me suspisciously wondering if perhaps Alzheimer's is setting in. They suggest quite strongly it's time for a new sweater. My husband says nothing - he probably knows better. But here's the problem - it's so comfortable, and I'm so comfortable in it. No pretensions, no double checks in the mirror, always waiting for me, warm and fuzzy and hair-covered. It is a habit I can't quite get rid of. I'm sure there was life before my frumpy sweater about 10 years ago, but I can't remember it.
Now here is a faith analogy - If we can just believe there is something new and even better waiting around the corner - that is where the faith comes in. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (according to Hebrews). I just need to chuck this ole sweater and believe in faith there is a new one on the way, even though I can't see it!
So why do I hold on to Frumpy? Well, again, because I'm so comfortable in it, so familiar with it, so used to it. Life without frumpy sweater is an unknown.
But I will tell you what - I will step out in faith and dispose of Frumpy. There is a new one on the way, one Mr. Rogers (who always put a sweater on when he walked in the door) would approve of. Besides, I know that will make my daughter very happy. Here's to taking chances, walking in faith, and being certain of what I can't see!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's Camping, not Glamping

Our family loves to go camping and we have been doing so yearly for the past 20+ years. This year we headed to Algonquin Park, near Barron Canyon. Now we need to clarify what we mean by camping. Camping means you pack up your gear, you put the canoe on your car and you head to the nearest lake. After paddling for a while to the other side you put the gear on your back and the canoe on your head and you traverse the woods, carefully avoiding all nasty tree roots and pointy sharp rocks. Then you put all gear back in the canoe and schloop, schloop schloop your way to the other side. Eventually you will end up at a campsite where there are no cars, no radios, certainly no phones or showers or running hot water and no bathrooms. Well, there is a bathroom, but it is a box with a lid in the middle of the woods aka "the magic treasure box." Anyway, it's peaceful, quiet and the waterfront views are amazing. Glamping (glamour camping) is the other kind wherein you drive your car in and set up camp. We found a beautiful campsite complete with a pre-made stone couch, a luxury indeed.
We spent one day hiking/canoeing to a spot where there is a beautiful waterfall (High Falls) and a naturally made waterslide. It's rather odd to be out in the middle of the Canadian wilderness where there is no way to get to unless you hike/canoe or fly in and there are people everywhere hanging out at this waterslide having a ball. I attempted this slide in my 20s and again took it on in my 40s - maybe I will come back again in another 20 years. It was a first for the kids and they loved it!
On our travels we ran into a variety of wildlife: a very friendly fox who met us at the gate, some big hairy spiders in an outhouse which caused me great anxiety as I don't do well with spiders. Also, while Randi was washing up the dishes in the lake it would seem the frying pan caught the interest of a very big turtle. It came right up to us and popped his/her head out. Now I know turtles breathe very slowly, in and out, like divers, but it is kinda water-snuffly. We also met Mr. Bunny at the Magic Treasure Box and a menagerie of chipmunks and birds. I fell asleep listening to a bullfrog carrying on across the lake and the Loons crying and sighing in the distance.
I know our family vacations times will soon be coming to an end. Camping trips like these I will cherish and remember forever.